Chanel Métiers d’Art 2018: Lemarié, Lesage & Maison Michel


Back in 2017, 9 Métiers d’Art houses made a special appearance here, the focus of last year’s feature on what they do and how they contributed to Chanel’s artisanal-focused Métiers d’Art collection. And with intricate pieces and specialised detailing from each house appearing in the nautical-themed #ChanelinHamburg show that’s now in stores, a refresher would be apt, especially since Barrie was just covered just over a week ago.

Today’s spotlight will shine on 3 of the 23 houses, each celebrated for the icons they specifically make, the camellia (Lemarié), the tweed jacket (Lesage) and of course, the hat (Maison Michel).

Expert plumassiers (or craftsmen who excel in the processing of feathers), Lemarié has been in existence since 1880 and is today the very last of such a house in Paris. Initially devoted entirely to processing feathers for hats, it was André Lemarié (grandson of the founder) who introduced changes and Gabrielle Chanel partnered with the house to create camellia brooches, an emblem of her namesake label.

Officially joining Métiers d’Art in 1996, the house has been actively involved in the annual collections under the direction of Karl Lagerfeld, who has turned the camellia into one that goes beyond just being made of feathers. You’ll find camellias in PVC, silks, satin and even tweed, all still handcrafted by Lemarié today.

Then there’s Lesage, founded in 1924 by Albert and Marie-Louise Lesage, both of whom are pioneers in avant-garde embroidery techniques. Lesage’s collaboration with Chanel started in the year of 1983 when Karl Lagerfeld was at the helm of the Parisian brand. Together, they have worked hand-in-hand, starting with Lesage supplying tweeds for Chanel’s RTW collections in 1998, and then creating new tweeds from different fabrics in 2008 for Haute Couture. Ever wondered where the tweed on your Classic Flap and Gabrielle bags came from? Lesage.

Last but by no means least, Maison Michel, a milliner that was founded by Auguste Michel in 1936. Together with Pierre and Claudine Debard, the trio continued to grow the hat-maker, and have worked with Karl Lagerfeld in numerous collections ever since the late 80s. The house in itself is a unique one, having an archive filled with thousands of hat forms and antique materials like felt and straws all preserved and kept for the foreseeable future. Today, Maison Michel has its very own label that started in 2006, with collections specifically dedicated to hats that are perfect for the everyday woman, as well as making hats and the like for Chanel’s various collections throughout the year.

Images: Bagaholicboy & Chanel

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